At the direction of Governor Laura Kelly, the State of Kansas recently conducted an anonymous survey of executive branch employees to learn more about their needs and challenges.
The survey took place as part of a broader effort to identify practices and trends that have affected the state workforce in the past several years.
More than half of the employees at Cabinet agencies responded to the survey. The response rate of 54% indicated significant employee interest in voicing concerns and opinions.
“We know the past several years have been difficult for our public employees,” Governor Kelly said. “Their well-being and satisfaction dramatically affect the efficiency and effectiveness of the services Kansans receive. Better working conditions for public employees lead to a better government for the citizens of Kansas. This survey is helping us identify some of the challenges and ways to do an even better job in acknowledging and responding to employee needs.”
Among encouraging signs of employee satisfaction:
- Nearly 65% of respondents said they were either “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with their current job, and nearly 84% said they believe the work they do furthers their agency's mission.
- 79% of respondents agreed with the statement: “my immediate supervisor values my input.”
- 85% reported they felt highly motivated to accomplish their agency's mission.
Among challenges expressed by employees:
- 60% of respondents disagreed with the statement: “I am reasonably compensated in pay and benefits for the work that I do.”
- 24% of respondents listed equipment, technology and training as their top concern.
With the passage of Governor Kelly’s FY 2020 budget, state employees received a 2.5% pay raise. The State Employee Health Plan also lowered health insurance premiums as much as 6% in 2019, after employees saw increases over 30% every year from 2016 to 2018. These two issues—compensation and benefits—were a common theme throughout survey responses.
“Our goal is to make the State of Kansas the type of workplace that can attract and retain the highest-caliber employees,” Dr. DeAngela Burns-Wallace, Secretary of Administration said. “You can see on-the-ground results when the employees of the state are adequately compensated and treated as professionals.”
The Department of Administration serves as the state’s human resources department.
A summary of results can be found at http://admin.ks.gov/employeesurvey. The summary includes further analysis that will be used to guide agency directors and Cabinet Secretaries as they address employee concerns and pursue ways to improve employee satisfaction.